The Secret Memoir of Bill Cunningham

Wed. Sep 12, 2018 at 6:30pm EDT
All Ages
All Ages
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All Ages
Event Description

The landmark publication reveals the untold story of a New York legend. Discover the book with its editor, Christopher Richards, New Yorker critic Hilton Als, and Paper magazine co-founder, Kim Hastreiter.

When famed fashion and society photographer Bill Cunningham died in 2016, he left behind not only an incredible archive of New York Times columns and photographs, but two identical copies of a secret memoir that he apparently hoped someone would find. His family discovered it, and now the book, Fashion Climbing, the title given to it by Cunningham himself, will be published this fall. The Library celebrates its release with the book’s editor, Christopher Richards, and New Yorker critic Hilton Als, who wrote its preface. They will be joined by artist, writer, editor and co-founder of Paper, Kim Hastreiter, a close, long time acquaintance of the late photographer. Dive into Cunningham’s never-told story, from his youth in lace-curtain Irish Boston, to his early and odd work as a milliner, through his decades-long tenure at the New York Times, where he became the definitive eye casting itself upon the city’s most stylish characters.

For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form one hour before the program.

Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Sara Beth Joren at

ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

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Venue Details
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Celeste Auditorium (Lower Level) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018